When you hear the words “Michigan House” you might quickly conjure a memory of listening to the latest Go Rounds record in your living room in Traverse City. Maybe your immediate reaction is to giggle, remembering a night spent drinking Mawby bubbly in a friend’s kitchen in Lansing. Even still, you might think about a birthday celebrated with Cakabakery sweets in a starlit summer backyard in Grand Rapids. Wherever your mind goes, you’re right.
Armed with their own arsenal of well-loved memories and creative intuition, a team of collaborators has come together from across the state to embody the Michigan experience and deliver it outside of state lines. Spearheaded by Creative Many Michigan, Michigan House is ecstatic to announce the biggest and best iteration yet – as an official South by Southwest venue.
“Michigan House is an experience of a state that’s thriving in technology, design, innovation and wrestling with social issues,” noted Paul Moore, Start Garden Chief Marketing Officer. “Start Garden has been a part of it from the beginning because it’s a genuine expression of where we live, which counteracts much of what’s seen in national media about Michigan.”
Thriving and creating in Michigan doesn’t always come easy, but we all know that it’s worth it. In a time where there are no absolutes and very few opportunities to hold anyone’s attention for longer than seconds, Michigan House and the team behind it embraces the challenge by providing an interactive platform to show entrepreneurs, thought leaders and talent from around the country what Michigan is all about.
“Michigan House convenes a cross-section of Michigan-based creative professionals on the worldwide stage that is SXSW,” says Jennifer Goulet, President and CEO of Creative Many Michigan. “Michigan’s creative industries, its heritage of vibrant culture and design, need to be a calling card. We strive all year at Creative Many to support and elevate creativity within the state. Michigan House has become one of our most effective megaphones for spreading that message.”
With Michigan House bringing that arms-wide-open mentality that comes so naturally to Michiganders, the vibe in Austin will be that much warmer and brighter from March 11-14. The full schedule can be found at michiganhouse.org, but some highlights include:
- Six panel discussions giving Michigan creative professionals the time and space to chat about huge topics: “Making a Place for Equity,” “Michigan Modern: Design That Shaped America,” “Clogging the Drain: Creative Talent Attraction,” “Innovation in Cultural Tourism,” “The Creative Difference: Teaching Innovation, “Why the Rustbelt? IoT in the Midwest”
- A Michigan Music Meetup hosted by LocalSpins.com, giving Michigan musicians the opportunity to gather and discuss the music scene in the mitten state — where it is now, and where it is going.
- The Michigan Music Showcase and Founders Tap Takeover, featuring five bands selected by elective submission: The Go Rounds, Flint Eastwood, Michigander, ONEFREQ, and Stef Chura.
While so many of us know that we don’t need to travel across the country to experience the magic that our state has to offer, Michigan House prides itself in giving so many of us a home away from home during SXSW. Partners and guests are welcome to stop by Michigan House during the quiet moments between scheduled programming, when there is ample opportunity to make connections, foster productive relationships, and learn something new.
“The ideas that are hatched in these down times in some ways hold the most value for me, and I know others participating in Michigan House feel the same,” noted Ted Velie of Middle West, the experience design firm that helps bring Michigan House to life.
Michigan House is so much bigger than building a space at a festival. It is giving the state’s creative professionals the opportunity to take these conversations about collaboration, inclusion, and economic prosperity out of our echo chamber and onto the national stage.
Are you planning a trip to SXSW this year? If so, don’t miss Michigan House, March 11-14 at the 700 Trinity entrance to St. David’s Episcopal Church. If not, have you reconsidered yet?